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Man from Rochdale jailed for 27 years for sex offences against a child under 13

Mark Thornton was today sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court to 27 years in jail, following a string of sex offences against a child under the age of 13, over a six-year period.

The court heard how when the victim was 11, he provided her with cannabis, vapes and cash to buy the victim’s silence, after raping her in multiple locations in Rochdale.

Thirty-nine-year-old Thornton was arrested in May 2022 and charged with six counts of rape of a girl aged under 13 years. He maintained his innocence and denied raping with the victim throughout.

The 38-year-old must also sign the sex offenders' register for life and has been given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order.  

Detective Constable Martin Adams from Rochdale’s Child Protection Investigation Unit said: “Firstly I'd like to pay homage to the victim and her family for having the bravery to support our investigation by coming forward, which would have undoubtedly been a difficult thing for anyone to do.

“I hope this result gives them confidence in the authorities and provides them with a sense of justice whilst coming to terms with this horrible crime.

“Thornton showed no remorse for his actions, sparing little thought for the distressing impact that this could have on his young victim.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, or knows someone who has, to get in touch with GMP. We will always listen to you and investigate all allegations.”

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